Full Field of Candidates Vying for Venango County Commissioner Seats

| May 16, 2019

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – Seven candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for the three Venango County Commissioner seats this year.

Albert “Chip” Abramovic (Democratic)

One of two incumbents this year, Abramovic is seeking reelection to what would be his second term as Venango County Commissioner.

Abramovic currently sits on numerous local, regional, and statewide boards including: County Commissioners Association Board of Directors, is Chairman of the County Commissioners Association Academy of Excellence in County Government, University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics Board of Fellows, Vice Chairman of Northwest Commission, Chairman of Venango County Criminal Justice Advisory Board, County Commissioners Natural Gas Task Force, Northwest PA Workforce Investment Board, WQED Pittsburgh Advisory Board Member. Abramovic also is a graduate of the County Commissioners Association Center for Excellence in County Leadership and current student of Penn State’s RULE Leadership Program.

According to Abramovic, during his first term he has “worked hard to bring awareness to tough issues not commonly discussed, collaborated with the Agriculture Industry to help find ways to combat the struggles they are facing, brought awareness to drug epidemics, worked to find ways to help curb an overcrowding of county jails through re-entry and mental illness initiatives, worked hard to bring transparency to government and to hold the line on taxes, closely worked with local municipalities and other counties.”

“Being centrally located between Erie and Pittsburgh gives Venango County a great opportunity for growth, being able to utilize our natural resources and our growing local businesses. There is no better time than now,” said Abramovic.

“Allegheny County, a world leader in technology and healthcare, along with Erie County growing towards the future (and) having close relationships with both can help to turn Western PA from the Rust Belt to the Smart Belt and put Venango County in the forefront. An opportunity Venango County should not miss out on.”

Sam Breene (Republican)

An Oil City resident, Breene attended St. Stephen’s School, Oil City Public Schools, The Kiski School, and Allegheny College. Since then, he has devoted his career to public service, working for U.S. Congressman Mike Kelly in Butler. In 2018, he served as Congressman Kelly’s campaign manager where he led him to a large victory in a hotly contested congressional race. Prior to that, Breene served in Congressman Kelly’s official office as Senior Legislative Aide, Legislative Director with the Northeast Midwest Congressional Coalition, and Great Lakes Task Force and Director of Outreach.

Breene was a board member of Dougherty Breene International Inc. He is an elected Venango County Republican State Committeeman. He belongs to the Petrolia Lodge 363, Zem Zem Shriners, Oil City Elks Lodge, and the Oil City Eagles Lodge.

“I am a committed conservative Republican who uses the guideposts of limited government, fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility to guide my actions and beliefs. I am pro-life, I support the 2nd Amendment, and I am a life member of the NRA,” Breene said.

“Through my experiences, I have learned a great deal about how government at the federal, state and local levels can work to benefit taxpayers. I have also seen how government, through higher taxes and burdensome regulations, can harm job creators, hurt the economy, destroy communities and hurt families. I plan on using my experience to make the government more responsive to taxpayers, review spending, ensure the public safety of the community, and promote job creation through economic growth.”

Timothy S. Brooks (Republican)

Incumbent candidate Timothy Brooks has served the citizens of Venango County for the past eleven years and is seeking reelection again this year.

“There are new and exciting projects that have started throughout the County, and I will continue to move these positive initiatives forward in a reliable, dynamic process, to benefit all the County’s citizens,” Brooks said.

“Working with the outstanding employees and partners of the County, we will continue to explore and develop new plans to grow and diversify business in the County and then implement those plans in a steadfast, positive manner, working with all the communities and organizations of the County.”

“I have had the opportunity to learn from a variety of elected officials and employees whom have accumulated many years of knowledge and history of the County.  That ‘institutional memory’ is invaluable in moving the County forward in a steady, dependable manner, can not be replaced, and will continue with me.”

“My agenda has always been, and always will be, to provide the resources and opportunities necessary for ourselves, our children and others from inside and outside the County, to live, work, grow, and flourish in the County.  Doing this with a continued fiscally sound protocol, keeping in the forefront of our decision making that any actions we take as County Commissioners are funded with taxpayers, and our own, hard earned tax dollars.  Continuing to provide services in a fiscally and ethically responsible manner.”

Joe Carulli II (Republican)

Carulli, a Rocky Grove resident, is a graduate of North Clarion schools and Triangle Tech.

He has a history in public office after being elected in 2011 as a Pennsylvania State Constable and then re-elected in 2018 for a second six year term.

“These are challenging times in Venango County and I am concerned about and ready to tackle the loss of business and jobs in our community,” said Carulli. “Just in the past few years we have seen the closing of the PNC Data Center, Orchard Brands Call Center, and Joy Global Mining (Franklin Plant No. 1), as well as the downsizing of several more local businesses.”

Carulli continued, “This has resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and thousands of people living in our community. There needs to be a results-oriented, performance-based plan to start attracting new business, retaining the local business that already exists, and a focus on growing the population and increasing the prosperity of our area.”

“I understand business,” Carulli said, noting that he has owned and operated Trey Carulli Lawncare and Landscaping for past six years with his son Trey.

“In my years in the workforce I have experience in managing, budgeting, forecasting and building a business with just hard work and dedication. These are all key things you need to have experience in to run a county.”

Mike Dulaney (Republican)

A graduate of Christian Life Academy and Penn State Behrend, Dulaney was elected to Franklin City Council in 2017. He is currently employed as the Executive Assistant at the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce.

Dulaney said he plans to use this experience working with local leaders and business people to foster business growth within the region and to tackle issues within the county such as the rapidly growing expenses.

“Sometimes it is easy to overlook the slow progress being made by individuals, such as myself, who are interested in making Venango County prosperous,” said Dulaney. “Working at the Chamber has allowed me to see not only the needs of the local economy but also the requirements necessary to attract new business.”

Darrell C. Karns (Republican)

A lifelong Venango County resident, Karns currently owns and operates Karns Plumbing, Heating and HVAC in Franklin.

“I want to bring to the Commissioner’s office and Venango County strength, dedication and hard work,” Karns said.

“A lot can be accomplished when you have good, hard working people working together for the good of everyone.”

Bonnie S. Summers (Democratic)

Summers earned a Masters of Public Administration degree and has completed training in leadership, fiscal and administrative management.

She was previously elected county commissioner in 2011 and served a full term before opting not to seek reelection.

Prior to seeking public office in 2011, Summers retired as administrator of the county’s mental health/mental retardation and substance abuse programs after more than 30 years with the county.

As commissioner, Summers served as chairman of the Northwestern Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board and coordinated a administrative and fiscally responsive system with the support of the seven involved counties.  Also, she served as chairman of the Northwest Planning Commission.  She helped develop the county’s Land Bank program and continues to serve as chairman.  While in office, she coordinated children and youth services with the court and developed supportive programs for children whose parents or guardians were in jail.

She is currently vice chairman of the Cranberry Economic Development Committee, member of the Venango County Economic Development Authority, member of the Drug Overdose Task Force, member of Sugar Valley Lodge Board and chairman of the Family Services and Children’s Aid Shelter Capital Campaign.

“I am running because I believe that I can help Venango County to be successful, be prosperous, and have a  quality of life where county families can thrive.  I possess the experience as a very active former county commissioner who was not afraid to spend the time and work hard for the people I served,” Summers said.

“I believe in turning the challenges we face into opportunities because there is nothing that can’t be done with leadership, hard work, creative thinking and communication with others.”

“One of my main goals is to increase the opportunities for young people to live and thrive here as well as to reduce the use and dependence on illicit drugs that are a barrier to the opportunities.”

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